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Andre Marriner Named Referee for Southampton vs. Newcastle

Referee Andre Marriner, in grey, sends off Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, left, during their English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Saturday, Mar  22  2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press
Dan BrettContributor IIIMarch 24, 2014

Andre Marriner has been handed a Premier League reprieve.   

The referee will officiate Southampton's home match against Newcastle on Saturday, the Premier League announced Monday:

His performance may come under some scrutiny after a horrid case of mistaken identity last time out. Marriner gave Chelsea a penalty during the 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appearing to handle the ball away from goal.   

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

However, in his confusion, the 43-year-old mistakenly sent off left-back Kieran Gibbs.

Despite his error, the official has been given another top-flight match.

After the fixture at Stamford Bridge, Marriner apologised for his error via a Professional Game Match Officials Limited statement, per BBC Sport:

Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors. Whilst this was a difficult decision, Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.

He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.

The referee received plenty of support from managers and officials, however, with BBC Sport's Ben Smith tweeting that Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers felt for Marriner needed more support:

However, Daily Sport and The Express' head of sport Duncan Wright questioned the leniency of the decision to allow the official to continue in Week 32:

According to SoccerBase.com, Marriner has brandished seven red cards in his last eight matches, with three at Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 win over Barnsley.

The referee will take to St Mary's Stadium next time out and will be familiar to Toon boss Alan Pardew, having sent off Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa during Newcastle's 2-2 draw with Liverpool earlier this season.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 27:  Steven Taylor of Newcastle United consoles Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa after their 6-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on April 27, 2013 in Newcastle
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

He also showed a red card to Steven Taylor during the Toon's opening-day 4-0 loss to Manchester City.

Southampton will have fonder memories, though, having not lost any of their three matches that Marriner has taken control of this season.

Newcastle face Everton on Tuesday before the trip to the South Coast, due to a game in hand. A midweek win for Pardew's men could place the side within five points off sixth place, and of course, the Europa League play-off place.

Southampton sit one point behind Newcastle, so victory with home comforts will help their own European aspirations.

However, victory for the visitors would mount serious pressure on Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham.

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